I can't see what sentence you are referring to as I can only see the vocabulary entry for "por poco", out of context, but yes, your assumption is correct. We use it with the present tense to refer to something that has happened/happened:
¡Ayer por poco me pilla un coche!
Yesterday I nearly got hit by a car!
El otro día tropecé en la calle y por poco me caigo en medio de la carretera.
The other day I tripped over on the street and I nearly fell over in the middle of the road.
We also use por poco for something that has just happened, for example:
¡Uy! Por poco te piso.
Whoa! I almost stepped on you.
Sometimes, with the same meaning/use we use "casi":
¡Casi me caigo!
¡Casi te piso!
I hope this clarified it.
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